Agriculture and Land Mandate Letter
Honourable Bloyce Thompson
Agriculture and Land
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Dear Minister Thompson:
I am pleased that you have agreed to serve Islanders as Minister of Agriculture and Land.
Our new Progressive Conservative government will work to deliver real benefits for all Islanders; because it’s about people. Guided by our approach that begins with putting people at the heart of every decision, we have offered a new, ambitious plan to deliver on our long-term vision for a stronger, healthier province.
I plan to effect change in a way that is true to Island values with strong consideration to our people, communities, wellness and environment. As Premier, I am renewing my commitment to lead with civility, respect, courtesy, and kindness; applying this philosophy to every aspect of our new Progressive Conservative government.
We seek the involvement of the People, ensuring our progress is measurable through transparent decision making and broad public engagement. We’re proud of our individuality and it’s our responsibility, as Islanders, to ensure our Communities are strengthened and sustained for many generations to allow for resiliency and success. Maintaining our Wellness and healthy living means having timely access to the information and resources Islanders need to take care of themselves and their loved ones. The connection between Islanders and our Environment: the water, land, and the air has always been deeply personal. As stewards of these precious resources, we must understand their value and respect their fragility. These considerations along with your specific ministerial objectives should guide your work and shape your priorities from day to day.
I made a personal commitment to bring new leadership and a new tone to government. I want to work with all MLAs in the Legislative Assembly, and this new cooperative approach is critical to the success of our government.
Islanders expect our government to work together to advance the public good. That means seeking out, fostering, and advancing good ideas regardless of which side of the house they come from.
As minister, you are responsible for ensuring members of the Green and Liberal caucuses are appropriately consulted on major issues and legislation. This consultation and information sharing will occur in accordance with protocols established through caucus house leaders, and in accordance with relevant legislation and confidence. This level of practical collaboration is what Islanders have called on us to do and what we will work to provide them.
As the Minister of Agriculture and Land, your overarching goal is to lead our province’s efforts to innovate our agriculture and agri-food sectors for success now and into the future, as well as safeguarding our precious land resource for all Islanders. You will ensure your departmental focus is on supporting the Speech from the Throne delivered on June 14, 2019 while delivering on priorities specific to your mandate.
I expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to make substantive progress on the following priorities:
- Engage the public in reviewing and updating the Lands Protection Act so it best reflects the needs of our province presently and into the future;
- Develop a PEI Food First Strategy which promotes farm-to-table relationships and highlights the importance of local food security;
- Work with local producers to champion and promote our agriculture industry, while encouraging innovation;
- Modernize the operations and delivery of programming through the PEI Agricultural Insurance Corporation;
- Educate, communicate and implement measurements that demonstrate the importance of healthy soil;
- Work with federal counterparts to best support and advance our agriculture industry while seeking innovative approaches and investigating the potential of new crop types;
- Work with your colleague the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy to establish a farmland bank for PEI that will keep productive land in farm production and assist young farmers entering the industry;
- Work with your colleagues the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change and the Minister of Fisheries and Communities for an Island-wide policy for renewable, sustainable resources in land including its usage, ownership and planning; and
- Work with your colleague the Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning to develop and implement a provincial school food program building on recent pilot success.
Islanders expect us to fulfill our commitments, and it is my expectation that you will work with our skilled professional public service to deliver on this mandate. You are to consult with your Deputy Minister and other senior officials under your leadership to ensure that all decisions are solidly based on the best evidence available. The public service is a valuable resource and our government believes in building an even stronger work environment based upon clear communication, dignity for all employees and a mutual respect. The list of priorities is ambitious and will take time to plan and deliver to achieve successful outcomes.
I want to remind you of the importance of reducing red tape and other barriers facing Islanders accessing services and considering the climate impact while delivering on your priorities. These lenses must transcend through all Departments. Keep in mind that as we move forward our government’s priorities may have to adapt to reflect changes in circumstances. We will work together to ensure any amendments required are well thought out and reasoned.
All members of Cabinet are expected to review, understand and act according to the Conflict of Interest Act and to conduct themselves with the highest level of integrity. As a Minister of the Crown the manner in which you conduct yourself reflects on you, as well as your Cabinet colleagues and our government as a whole.
I know I can count on you to fulfill the important responsibilities entrusted in you. In turn, please know that you can count on me to support you every day in your role as Minister.
I look forward to working together with you to build opportunity for all Islanders.
Honourable Dennis King
Premier of Prince Edward Island